Did y'all check out the Cybils winners that were announced this weekend?
I was on the MG/YA nonfiction panel, so I thought I'd discuss the winner for nonfiction Monday!
The Year We Disappeared: A Father-Daughter Memoir Cylin Busby and John Busby
John Busby was a police officer on Cape Cod who was about to testify against the brother of Raymond Meyer, a known arsonist and suspected murderer. On his way to work one night, he was shot in the face. If he survived, John knew that Meyer would come after his family next. He also knew that Meyer would only know where John was going to be if someone on the force had leaked that information.
Cylin was 9 when someone tried to kill her father. All of a sudden, there were policemen guarding her house, following her to school, standing outside her classroom door... she wasn't allowed to go over to anyone's house, no one was allowed to come over to hers.
John was frustrated and angry at the lack of progress being made in the investigation. He couldn't talk and had to take his meals through an injection in his stomach, and later through a tube.
Cylin knew she was supposed to pretend that everything was fine, and that life was going on as normal, but it wasn't.
The Busbys tell their story in alternating chapters, giving us both sides of their story--Cylin's chapters keep their child-eye's view, and John's give us the information on the investigation and his medical progress. The book is gripping and a page-turner, with something to appeal to everyone. Some readers will respond to Cylin's feelings of confusion and fear, some will appreciate the police procedural and medical information. Overall, a strong book and a strong winner.
One of my other favorites on the short list was...
Body Drama: Real Girls, Real Bodies, Real Issues, Real Answers Nancy Redd
Usually, when it comes to body stuff for girls, books fall into 2 categories--books about puberty and books about sex. Redd's doesn't--this is a book that is about your body and not sex, but it's for the post-pubescent woman. It covers a range of topics--everything from corns and warts to facials, body piercings and zits, lice and facials, stretch marks and skid marks. The overall image is that yes, I know you feel like a freak because your body does this, but guess what! most bodies do and everyone's feeling like theirs is the only one!
Best of are Redd's confessions throughout the book--about all the embarrassing things she's talking about and how yes, they have happened to her.
And, there are pictures. No weird drawings of things, actual photos. Yes, this means there are photos of all sorts of body parts and bodies, in all shapes and sizes and colors. Some people may find it gross or titillating, but I think it is very empowering. My favorite are the pages showing what airbrushing can do to pictures, and how it's often used. The normal shots versus the airbrushed ones are illuminating and eye-opening.
It's funny, it's informative, and in a very teen-friendly design. This is a book I wish was around when I was a teen and needs to be on every teen girl's bookshelf.
Round up is over at Jean Little Library!